STRATHKELVIN and Bearsden’s MSP has welcomed measures announced by Nicola Sturgeon in a major speech in Stirling today.
Rona Mackay MSP has encouraged constituents to take part in what has been called the “biggest listening exercise” in the party’s history.
The first phase in the SNP’s new independence initiative will reach out to two million people in Scotland before St Andrew’s Day — seeking to gain a nationwide understanding of people’s views on Europe, Brexit and independence to grow consensus across Scotland in the wake of recent political events.
Equipped with a new national survey, each of the SNP’s 120,000 members will be challenged to engage with five people each month for the next three months, alongside doorstep activism across the country and all SNP parliamentarians hosting town hall events throughout Scotland.
A Party Growth Commission will be established to examine the projections for Scotland’s economy in the post-Brexit climate and in the context of independence. This strategy will include consideration of monetary arrangements to “best underpin a strategy for sustainable growth” and will seek views from across the political spectrum.
The SNP’s determination to protect Scotland’s place in Europe stands in stark contrast to the Tories continued silence over what ‘Brexit means Brexit’ actually means – which, as the weeks and months go by, is an increasingly unacceptable and irresponsible position.
Rona Mackay said: “I was incredibly inspired by the speech Nicola Sturgeon gave outlining the continuation of competent actions to protect Scotland. I am very confident about the future of our country.
“The people of Strathkelvin and Bearsden can rest assured my SNP parliamentarians and I will not be dithering, like the Tories have been, over the future of the United Kingdom post-Brexit. I welcome all of the concrete measures that have led up to this day, and am excited by the new ones announced.
“Our place in Europe will be protected and we know now the circumstances of the 2014 referendum have changed entirely. This sea-change in Scottish politics thrusts forward the question of Scotland becoming an independent nation.”
SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon said: “The UK that Scotland vote to stay part of in 2014 has changed — and so too have the arguments. That’s why I believe it is right that our party does now lead a new debate on independence.
“We must not assume that people’s views — yes or no — are the same today as they were in 2014. Instead we must engage the arguments with a fresh eye and an open mind. And before we start talking we must listen.
“So today, we are launching the biggest listening exercise in our party’s history. We want to understand in detail how people feel now about Europe, Brexit and independence. We want to know the concerns that people have and the questions they want answered. We want to build, if we can, a consensus on the way ahead.
“I encourage as many people as possible to take part and let us know their views – whether they are for independence, against independence or undecided.
“The wealth of information and insight that we gather will then inform the next stage of our campaign.
Announcing her party’s new Growth Commission the First Minister said: “The Commission will inform our thinking on how growth can be sustained in the here and now and during the period of uncertainty caused by Brexit.
“But it will also examine the projections for Scotland’s finances in the context of independence and consider a policy programme – with social justice at its heart – to grow the economy and reduce Scotland’s deficit to a sustainable level. It will also consider the monetary arrangements that would best support and underpin a strategy for sustainable growth.
“And while its work is intended to inform SNP policy, it will also seek views from across the political spectrum.”
Notes toe editor
Members of the public can take part in the National Survey through a new dedicated website going live today – www.survey2016.scot
The Growth Commission will be chaired by former MSP, Andrew Wilson. It will include our Finance Secretary Derek MacKay. Our Westminster Group will be represented by Roger Mullin MP and our Holyrood Group by Kate Forbes MSP.
The full membership of the Commission – which will be published alongside its remit within the next two weeks – will draw on a range of economic, academic and business expertise.